Grandmother at 36: This Chinese woman stirs national debate on early marriage

Grandmother at 36: This Chinese woman stirs national debate on early marriage

They were a fair number of supporters and detractors who reacted to the video.

A 36-year-old Chinese woman has stirred a national debate on early marriage and parenthood in the country after she recently announced on social medial that she has become a grandmother.

The woman, who has been identified by her surname Zhang, shared a video on TikTok on July 13. “I am officially a grandmother now. I was born in the 1980s and have not had the time to be filial to my parents or to perform my motherly duties, and I am now a grandmother," she said, South China Morning Post reports.

“I should be with my seven-year-old son right now helping him get to sleep, but instead I’m taking care of my newborn grandson.”

The video went viral and garnered more than 240 million views on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform. It also triggered a massive debate online in China about whether getting married and having children at a young age should be encouraged.

Grandmother at 36: This Chinese woman stirs national debate on early marriage
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They were a fair number of supporters and detractors who reacted to the video.

While some supported the young grandmother saying that the family completed their “life tasks” early.

“She is truly a life winner who completed her life tasks ahead of schedule, and she still looks young for a grandmother,” one person was quoted as saying.

While others highlighted the demerits of early marriage saying that it could cause harm to families and society.

“Teenage parents can hardly bear the responsibility of raising a child,” one person said. “It is easy to predict that the family will be unable to obtain a proper education, trapping them in a cycle of poverty.”

After her video drew the attention of everyone, Zhang responded on Toutiao, a Chinese news and information content platform on July 20, saying, “It’s not something to be proud of.”

“I dropped out of school and left home at a young age to work in big cities, and I married my husband (father of both sons) at 19,” Zhang wrote. “I had planned to send my son to get a good education, but he ignored our advice and chose another path in life.”

Zhang, however, claims that she is not the only one in her hometown, Nanyang, who has grandkids at such an early age.

“People who dropped out of school early commonly marry young, but they may not post videos to tell their stories,” Zhang was quoted as saying.

Currently, the minimum age for marriage is 22 for men and 20 for women.

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